People take way too long to get out of bad relationships. They fail to act and listen to the warning signs all around them. And at best, they continue in a relationship that leads to them feeling unfulfilled, and at worst, they go through nasty conflict after nasty conflict.
Hi. My name is Eric Partaker, and I'm on a mission to help people realize their full potential in both their work and their life. And I should know a thing or two about being in bad relationships and the consequence because I've had plenty. I've experienced that both professionally and personally, and the consequence just wasn't toxicity for me, it wasn't a toxic environment just for me, but it was also very toxic for those around me. Maybe you have been in a bad relationship as well. Maybe you can relate. Maybe you're in one right now. Maybe you think that, "Ah, now things would just get better. If I just stick with this, it'll improve." But your full potential in life could just be passing you by as you aimlessly wait, hoping that it will get better.
So today, I'm going to take you through six things, a checklist, if you will, that you could be using to determine whether or not you should quit on someone, whether it's professional or personal, whether or not you should stick with someone or whether you should just move on. So make sure you stick around for the whole thing to see if any of these factors apply to your relationship, your situation.
So number one, the number one thing a good relationship has in the absence of having this, you should question seriously if you should be staying in the relationship. As a matter of fact, actually, if you don't have this in the relationship, you should just be stepping away completely whether that's professional or personal. And the number one thing is trust. If you do not have trust in a relationship, in a relationship at work, in a relationship at home with a significant other, with a friend, with a loved one, with a colleague or a boss, if you can't trust the person, that is absolutely primary to a relationship success, if you can't trust the person, there is no foundation for the relationship. It's literally the foundation upon which the home is built. And what happens if you build a home with no foundation? Well, the slightest disturbance and it's just going to come crumbling down. You must have a solid foundation to build anything of value upon, and trust is that foundation in a relationship.
So if the person is abusing your trust, if they're demonstrating, they're showing you that they can't be trusted, there's nothing to lose here really then because there's actually not a relationship to begin with. Without trust, in the absence of trust, there is no ... The whole thing is a facade. So if you do not have trust in your relationship, you have two choices. Either you create that trust and you are confident that the other person is going to help fill that gap, fill that void and create the trust that should be there that isn't, or you must step away from it because there's nothing there then. So trust is absolutely number one.
Number two, you need to have respect in a relationship. If you don't have respect from the person that you are in a relationship with, again professionally or personally, if they're disrespectful to you, if they put you down, degrade you, make you feel that you're not worth who you are as a person, once again, that's not a relationship. That is not going to be healthy for you to be staying in. If you don't have respect in a relationship, it's just going to make you feel miserable. And again, this applies both in a work environment and at home. It's absolutely fundamental to all of the relationships that we have in our lives.
And remember that if we're going to reach our full potential, if we're going to feel as fulfilled as possible, human relationships are central to that. They're absolutely critical. They're key to that. So if you don't have trust and if you don't have respect, you got some serious soul searching to do about staying in that relationship. You have to correct those two things or you need to move on.
Number three reason or number three factor in a good relationship, i.e., if you don't have this, you should be stepping out of the relationship or figuring out a way to correct it, is empathy. So empathy is simply the ability for someone to put themselves in your shoes so they can feel what you're feeling. Now, this one isn't as cutthroat, as cut and dry as if you have no trust, you just got to move on, if the person is continually breaking your trust. Empathy is a little bit tougher because there's a lot of people in the world who are good people but they really need to build their empathy. They need to develop and grow their empathy.
So with this one, I would encourage you with the person who's not demonstrating empathy, not able to appreciate how you're feeling, I would encourage you to voice that with them that you want them, you want this relationship to work, but for it to work, they need to understand and appreciate how you're feeling. Because in the absence of empathy, then your reasons, your expressions of discomfort or your reasons for not wanting to do something or ultimately, your happiness, won't be fully appreciated if the person can't understand what that feels like from an empathetic point of view, and empathy can be developed, but it needs to be worked on. If you're in a relationship, you're with someone who doesn't have empathy, the first step is to just make them aware of that. It's one of the primary things behind emotional intelligence, is having the ability to empathetically relate to other people, to relate to them as if you were in their situation so you can understand how it is that they're feeling.
The number four factor to make sure that you have in a relationship is growth. So what I mean by that is the person that you're in a relationship with, are they leading to your growth? It's a chance for you to be selfish here. Are you growing as a result of the relationship? Are you becoming a better person? Are you developing new skills? Are you learning new things about yourself? Are you becoming more capable? Are you becoming the person that you want to be? A relationship can either give you energy and helps you grow into being who you want to be or it can just be flat or it can actually cause you to go the opposite way.
So ask ... Look at your friendships. People have so many friends, for example, on social media, with all of these friends they think, yeah, but where are the friendships that really make you grow? What are the subset of friendships that lead to you becoming a better person, that challenge you, that support you in what you want to be or become? And that's where you should focus your attention. If a relationship isn't giving you growth, if it's just like, "Ah, it's kind of there but it doesn't really do anything for me, or worse, it actually inhibits me from becoming what I would like to be or become," then you need to question, is that a good relationship for you or should you be stepping away from that?
Number five on the list is fun. Who wants to be in a robotic, mechanical, dry, dull, boring, I can't have a laugh, relationship? Nobody. We all want to have fun. We want relationships that put a smile on our face. We want relationships that make us laugh, relationships that give us a sense of adventure. Like the empathy one again here, I'm not having fun, I wouldn't just leave. But it's one of those ones where if you're not having as much fun, take a moment to explain that to the person. What can we do to have some more fun? I want to laugh a little bit more. I want to have a good time. Relationships should be fun. Right? So if that's not present in your relationship, how might you bring it into your relationship? Ask yourself that.
Last but not least, and it's its own thing and in a way, it can wrap up all the previous points as well, either/or, it's just happiness. Does this relationship, does it make you happy? Just in general, does it make you feel good? Does it put a smile on your heart, on your soul? Does it bring joy to your mind, to your thoughts when you think about the relationship or when you're in the relationship? Because if it's not making you happy, if it's draining you, if it's making you unhappy, then that's not where you want to be, and that needs to be expressed.
So in summary, six things that we want to be present in a relationship, and if they're not present in the relationship, we should think about, should I quit on this and move on or should I just leave this completely? And they are trust. You have to have trust. You have to have respect. You have to have empathy. You need relationships that lead to growth. You need relationships that are fun, and you need relationships that create some happiness that overall, you look upon and you go, "Yeah, these relationships make me feel good." Those need to be present; otherwise, you have some talking to do with yourself and also some talking to do with another person.
So I hope you've enjoyed that. And if you head over to my website at ericpartaker.com, you can also subscribe to my weekly Peak Performance Insights newsletter.